Purpose = 68% Compelling


“I am blue in the face communicating our mission and strategy” said the CEO in a frustrated tone. “Surely everybody knows it by now!?!” he added with a look of disbelief. 

The data had just revealed otherwise – the score for “clear and compelling purpose” was a disappointing 68%.  But that was only part of the story.

The data revealed misalignment of up to 23%, with implications not just for strategy, but also resources, culture and structure.

  • Alignment
  • Misalignment

23% Misalignment

A data view showing how misalignment of 28% was progressively narrowed over a 4 month period:

Where to Align?

There were opportunities/challenges around alignment as follows:

1. Vertical Alignment – Measured as the difference between alignment at the C-suite and alignment at the front lines.

2. Horizontal Alignment – Measured by the effectiveness of collaboration across functions (Return on Collaboration).

3. Personal Alignment – Measured by the extent to which people felt that they get to further their personal/professional goals via their work.

Horizontal and vertical alignment improved by up to 19% over a period of 16 weeks. 

Some progress was made in connecting the corporate mission with personal/professional goals, but ongoing work would be required. 

What is it linked to?

A complex picture emerged in respect of alignment – clearly it is not just an issue of strategy.

Issues of structure and culture were putting pressure on alignment too.  Some quick wins emerged, with up to 35% potential in respect of alignment of roles.

A deficit in terms of Engagement was revealed, with too little consultation or even communication.

Indeed, the data hinted that it might not be “safe” to discuss issues of alignment – people often chose to stay quiet when issues of strategy or direction arose.

What was the core challenge?

The data revealed opportunities and challenges in respect of focus (62%), with a widespread view that the organization lacked a “laser-like focus” and “fluttered from priority to priority”. 


While the CEO often lamented a lack of urgency, the data told a different story.  There was actually too much urgency and it impacted on the ability to do quality work (67%) and the discipline to see things through (65%).

With many projects and priorities competing for time and resources, the data pointed to a failure to make trade-offs. Re-directing resources towards today’s priorities and away from past decisions also emerged as an issue. 

Before and after tracking showed that these important areas improved by up to 20% over the 16 week cycle.

‘It really does feel as if the entire organization is pulling in the same direction – more than at any time in recent years’.

Chief Executive